The Los Angeles Angels, in need of infield depth after a recent rash of injuries, acquired veteran Eduardo Escobar from the New York Mets in exchange for two minor league starting pitchers on Friday.
Right-handers Coleman Crow and Landon Marceaux, ranked 19th and 20th in the Angels’ system, respectively, by MLB.com, will be sent to the Mets’ system as part of the deal.
The Mets will pay all but the pro-rated league minimum of Escobar’s salary, which calls for $9.5 million in what will likely be the final year of his deal. Escobar’s contract also contains a $9 million club option for 2024.
Mets manager Buck Showalter said he informed Escobar of the trade during the second inning of Friday night’s 5-1 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies, the third straight for the team (34-41).
“It’s tough,” Showalter said. “It’s always a reminder of the business of the game. … It’s a tough conversation. I wish I had more time to spend with him.”
Escobar, a 34-year-old switch-hitter, is batting .236/.286/.409 with four home runs in 120 plate appearances this season. He lost most of his playing time at third base to highly rated prospect Brett Baty.
A .254/.307/.435 hitter in his 13-year major league career, Escobar can also play second base and, in a pinch, shortstop. With the Angels, he will essentially replace Gio Urshela, who is expected to miss the remainder of the season with a fractured pelvis. The Angels also have third baseman Anthony Rendon (wrist contusion) and shortstop Zach Neto (oblique strain) on the injured list.
“I think the thing that makes it a little more palatable is it’s a good spot for him, a good place for him to re-establish himself as the player we know he can be,” Showalter said. “So we’re happy for him and the opportunity that he’s gonna get, but obviously we’ll miss having him around.”
Crow, 22, and Marceaux, 23, both pitched in Double-A this season. Crow posted a 1.88 ERA in his first four starts but hasn’t pitched in a game since late April.
The Mets also optioned struggling right-hander Tylor Megill to Triple-A Syracuse on Friday, two days after he gave up 4 runs, 5 hits and 4 walks in 2⅓ innings Wednesday in a 10-8 loss to Houston.
Megill is 6-4 with a 5.17 ERA in 15 starts for the Mets this season.